Your GP Cares is a campaign that was launched recently by the GPC to highlight the challenges that we face in general practice.
General practice is currently facing massive challenges relating to workload, recruitment and retention without any realistic solutions that are clear and visible.
The GPC's campaign aims to raise these issues with the general public, our patients and with the Politicians.
The GPC is asking for long-term sustainable investment in general practice to:
- Attract, retain and expand the number of GPs.
- Expand the number of practice staff.
- Improve premises GP services are provided from.
The environment in which GPs are striving to provide services is increasingly challenging.
The burning issues are:
- An increased demand on general practice caused by demographic changes, more complex health needs and some care moving out of hospitals is all contributing to unsustainable pressures on GP services.
- Based on the current number of doctors working as GPs, and the staff who support them in the general practice team, there are simply not enough hours in the day to meet everyone's needs.
- General Practice is struggling to recruit to vacant posts in their practices and to find locum cover so that patients can still be seen if a colleague is sick or absent.
- The increasing demand and workload pressures are leading to low morale and stress causing many GPs to leave the profession or to consider early retirement.
- Many GP practice buildings are old and need investment to create more room for patients to be seen or simply to make them fit for purpose.
- GPs and their practice teams must have greater support to deliver high quality services that meet the requirements of all their local patients.
What can you do to support the campaign?
- Watch the GP Cares video, this is available on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy4CVGlSDP8
- Join the campaign at bma.org.uk/YourGPcares
- Put pressure on your local politician
Find out how at bma.org.uk/YourGPcaresaction
- Share your experiences
Tell us how problems in general practice affect you by emailing us YourGPcares@bma.org.uk
- Follow @The BMA on Twitter
Promote the campaign and discuss the issues using #YourGPcares
Facts about General Practice:
- There are 40,000 GPs in the UK and the average GP looks after about 1,700 patients.
- In 2004 there were 240,000,000 consultations with GPs and this rose to 340,000,000 in 2013, which means about 1,000,000 patients consult with a GP each day.
- On average a GP will see about 40 - 45 patients per day.
- General Practice received about 8% of the NHS budget yet accounts for 90% of all the patient contacts.
- Practices are funded between £60 – 80 per patient per year less than £2 per person per week.
There are 480 Practices in the Wessex region. In a survey recently conducted by the LMC the key findings were:
- 66% of practices had a GP vacancy in the last 12 months and 28% have failed to recruit.
- 54% had a Practice Nurse vacancy in the last 12 months and 20% have failed to recruit.
- Over 30% of practices report they are currently short of GPs and 27% are short of Practice Nurses.
- In the next 12 months 6% of Practice Managers have indicated that they intend to retire, 9% reduce their working pattern and 8% intend to leave the profession.
The local situation is no less of a problem. Despite the appointment of a new partner in October of last year, additional staff appointments and a £10,000 refit of the premises, altered methods of working (ie. telephone triage) we are faced with a significant increase in demand for our services, not the least related to extensive building developments both ongoing and planned. Patient expectation remains high, the complexity of problems ever increasing and workload often untenable.
What you can do to help.
Consider whether your request for an appointment is appropriate. Would other NHS services more adequately meet your need (see Choose well leaflets (http://www.porthosp.nhs.uk/for-outpatients/choose-well/)
- If you request a telephone consultation, please ensure that you are available for the return call, have given our reception staff the correct contact details and have not switched your mobile to voicemail.
- Remember the 'one problem per appointment, one patient per appointment' rule. If your GP is running late, it is usually due to abuse of this rule. 10 minute appointments are barely sufficient for dealing with one simple problem. If you have complex or multiple problems please book a longer appointment.
- Raise awareness of the difficulties locally.
- Have a realistic expectation of our capacity, be understanding and be patient.
We will continue to strive to provide the excellent service that you have come to expect and deserve. Please remember that we are only human and that there are limits to what we can achieve in a normal working day.
Should you wish to support the campaign, join at: